According to TMZ, Joey Jordison‘s estate has filed a lawsuit against SLIPKNOT, accusing the band of profiting off his death after “abruptly” kicking the drummer out of the group by e-mail a decade ago.
In the lawsuit, which was filed this past June by Steamroller, LLC, the successor in interest of Jordison, Joey‘s estate claims that SLIPKNOT has failed to give back over “at least 22 items” belonging to the drummer after “promising to return all of Jordison‘s belongings.”
In the complaint, which was obtained by BLABBERMOUTH.NET, Steamroller accuses SLIPKNOT members Corey Taylor and Michael Shawn “Clown” Crahan and associated companies of failing to return “musical instruments, gear and wardrobe” belonging to Joey. Steamroller also alleges that SLIPKNOT included these items “in a travelling SLIPKNOT museum called Knotfest and line[d] their pockets with profit off of Jordison‘s devoted fanbase.”
“After abruptly kicking Jordison out of SLIPKNOT in 2013, Taylor and Crahan expressly promised in a written agreement to return all of Jordison‘s belongings in exchange for Jordison‘s promise to release certain claims against” them, the complaint reads. “The agreement contained a non-exclusive list of broad categories of items that [Taylor and Crahan] represented were in their possession and that they would return to Jordison. [Taylor and Crahan] purported to comply with the agreement by returning certain items to Jordison but, unbeknownst to Jordison, [they] had executed the agreement with no intention of performing their obligations thereunder, and knowingly concealed from Jordison that they possessed numerous other items belonging to Jordison that they never returned to him.”
According to the lawsuit, Jordison, along with Crahan and Paul Gray, formed SLIPKNOT in 1995. In 1999, SLIPKNOT bandmembers Crahan, Gray, Taylor and Jordison entered into a partnership agreement and formed the Slipknot Partnership. In 2010, Jordison began experiencing symptoms that were later diagnosed as acute transverse myelitis. The neurological disease progressed to the point that Jordison lost the use of his left leg. In 2013, as Jordison‘s medical condition progressed, Crahan and Taylor “abruptly kicked Jordison out of SLIPKNOT by e-mail,” the lawsuit claims. “The callousness of Jordison‘s firing and other mistreatment at the hands of Crahan and Taylor have been widely reported and criticized by fans of the band. Since the 1990s, Jordison had dedicated his life to making SLIPKNOT a metal sensation, from which Crahan and Taylor handsomely profited. It made no sense why Crahan and Taylor would treat Jordison with such disdain, especially in light of Jordison‘s declining health.”
In 2015, Jordison, on the one hand, and the Slipknot Partnership, Slipknot, Inc., Crahan and Taylor, on the other hand, entered into a release agreement to buy out Jordison‘s interest in the Slipknot Partnership. The release agreement required Crahan and Taylor to “promptly following the full execution of th[e] Release Agreement” return to Jordison “any property, including musical gear or equipment, belonging to” Jordison, “that is now in the possession of” Crahan and Taylor.
The lawsuit goes on to blast Taylor and Crahan for the way they acted in the months following Jordison‘s tragic passing in July 2021 away at the age of 46.
“While family, friends, and fans mourned the loss of the legendary drummer, neither bandmate expressed condolences to Jordison‘s family after his passing,” the complaint reads. “Instead, Taylor and Crahan heartlessly sought to profit off of Jordison‘s death. SLIPKNOT released a new album in 2022 titled ‘The End, So Far’. Fan reviews of the album rarely miss the opportunity to lament Jordison‘s absence. Taylor and Crahan callously used Jordison‘s death as marketing for their new album. Taylor publicly dedicated ‘The End, So Far’ to Jordison, claiming that the realization of Jordison‘s passing ‘crept in’ while making the album. Taylor even acknowledged that he and Crahan had mistreated Jordison in an interview, telling fans that they ‘were hoping to mend fences with him, and it’s one of those things that tells you: whatever you need to do, do it now, because you never know when you’re gonna lose somebody.’ Perhaps worst of all, Crahan and Taylor publicly lied to fans that they had contacted Jordison‘s family to check on them and express their condolences and love for Jordison in the wake of his passing. This was utterly false, and deeply upsetting for Jordison‘s family to read such a blatant lie on the internet. It is clear that Taylor and Crahan did not actually care about Jordison or his family; they cared only about drumming up publicity and sales of the new album.”
According to the complaint, Taylor and Crahan “have continued to profit off Jordison‘s death and his grieving fanbase to this day, by displaying Jordison‘s belongings at a traveling SLIPKNOT museum called Knotfest. The museum has made numerous tour stops over the course of several years and [Taylor and Crahan] have profited handsomely from Jordison‘s fans’ willingness to pay admission fees to view Jordison‘s iconic belongings in person.”
After the complaint was filed, SLIPKNOT responded with its own legal docs denying the claims and asking the court to dismiss the lawsuit.
SLIPKNOT announced its split with Jordison in December 2013 but did not disclose the reasons for his exit. The drummer subsequently issued a statement saying that he did not quit the group.
Jordison and the members of SLIPKNOT had been silent and evasive about the reasons for his dismissal from the band, but Joey finally spoke about it in 2016 while accepting an award at the Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards in London, England.
in February 2022, Taylor said that Jordison‘s passing broke his heart. “It hit me hard, even though I hadn’t seen him or talked to him in a very long time,” he said during a question-and-answer session at the annual Mad Monster Party fan convention. “And I won’t get into certain things, but I will say that it hit us all really hard. The first person that I called was ClownJoey worked at — like, way back in the day. And he would work the overnights. When I wasn’t working at the porn shop, I would go down. And they were always scheming; they would always sit together scheming. It’s, like, ‘I’ve got this fucking idea. All right? We’re gonna set our faces on fire.’ And I was, like, ‘No. You’re really not gonna do that.'”
He continued: “All that history and all the memories came back then. And his health was obviously part of that. And it was sad because this man was probably one of the most gifted people I’ve ever seen in my life… It was far, far too soon. And it broke my heart. Regardless of what had gone down between us, it broke my heart. It was a hard… It’s still hard to think about. I think about it now and it doesn’t seem real. So it hit us just as hard. It’s one of the reasons why we pay homage to him andPaul at the end of [each SLIPKNOT] show — to make sure that people realize that even though he was gone, he’s still part of the family, and he always will be.”
Corey previously opened up about Joey‘s death during a September 2021 appearance on SiriusXM‘s “Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk”. At the time, he said: “Our first concern was obviously his family, so we reached out immediately to make sure that they were okay, to let them know if they needed anything from us, they could absolutely ask.
“It’s a damn tragedy,” Taylor continued. “He was way too young, and he was way too talented to lose him like this.
“I know a lot of people wonder about the circumstances that led to him not being in the band anymore, and it’s, like, we’re not gonna talk about that, because I’d rather talk about his legacy, which is that he helped create this band that we all have fought to keep out there and keep going.
“Just the fact that he’s not here now, it’s still — I still can’t believe it,” Corey added.
Back in 2014, Taylor told Metal Hammer that firing Jordison after 18 years was “one of the hardest decisions” the group ever made, adding that Joey is “in a place in his life” which is “not where we are.”
Taylor said he could not get into specifics for legal reasons, but admitted, “It’s when a relationship hits that T-section and one person’s going one way and you’re going the other. And try as you might to either get them to go your way or try and go their way, at some point you’ve got to go in the direction that works for you. This is me speaking in the broadest terms, with respect to Joey. I guess to sum it up, it was one of the hardest decisions we ever made.”
Taylor said that the band is “happy right now and we hope that he is . . . he’s just in a place in his life, right now, that’s not where we are.”
Five years ago, Joey revealed that he was working on his first-ever book.
In 2018, Jordison completed a European tour with the international death metal supergroup SINSAENUM.
The same year that he exited SLIPKNOT, Jordison launched the band SCAR THE MARTYR and later, VIMIC.
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